By Niall Gillett
A good way to start is to do some internal research with your own staff to see how they feel about the project at hand as well as about the particular promotion or campaign about to be undertaken.
If your own internal staff does not “feel” great about the project, then changes will have to be made, as internal support is crucial.
Once this exercise is complete and the internal organization feels good about it, then it is time to move to the external audience.
If your company is selling a generic product, then your audience may as well be generic too, but for the most part, companies are promoting a particular product or service, and may want to have the most return for their promotion investment – or “bang for the buck.”
Even if you think that it is important that everyone hears your message to cover as much ground as possible, your reputation exercise must now be repeated.
Yes, it is time to do the touchy-feely thing again, to see how the outside audience feels about your company in general.
Do you know who your customers are? Yes, this is going a little over to the dark side of marketing, but public relations still require you to identify your “public” in the same manner.
The difference between the marketing exercise and the PR exercise is that marketing will take a deeper look into things like purchasing power, spending habits, and the like, whereas PR cares more about their feelings.
Truly touchy-feely stuff indeed, but take some time, narrow down the field and truly identify who the kinds of people are that would invest in your company – buy your product or service.
Once you have done that, we move on the primary task of understanding and leveraging your company’s primary asset. Yes – it’s Reputation! Sometimes your organization gets business simply because it is the only place where a particular product can be found, but not so much because there is any loyalty to you.
If a competing company started to sell your product or something similar, your customers would leave in droves even if the price were higher and the distance further – simply because they do not “feel” a good vibe from you.
But since you are a shrewd business owner, you will not let this lie. You now have your baseline, and you now know that you have to make some changes before you start promoting your new product, your wonderful service. You will change how your public feels about you!